Miyoko’s Sets The Record Straight After ‘Misleading Report’ Of Nestle Partnership
The founder of a plant-based cheese brand has spoken out against a media report that wrongly alluded that Nestlé has acquired her company.
Miyoko Schinner, Founder of Miyoko’s, describes the report’s headline – which says her company ‘partnered’ with Nestlé to meet the growing demand for plant-based food – as ‘very misleading’. She added that it will affect her business, as multiple people have vowed to boycott her products.
“Nestlé has not bought the company. There has been no exchange of cash or equality,” Schinner said, speaking exclusively to Plant Based News.
Schinner revealed that she met Nestlé very recently after she was invited to participate in the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator, formed by Rocketspace and Rabobank. The program aims to help disruptive companies, that can provide solutions to global food system issues, scale up. As part of the program, corporate mentors provide resources.
“Nestlé is a corporate mentor providing resources to Miyoko’s as well as two other plant-based companies – the other two were not mentioned at all in the report [as per Nestle’s press release, they are Jackson’s Honest, and Here],” Schinner told Plant Based News.
“Nestlé is going to help us gain consumer insights and help us navigate the world of food service, as we are going national with Sysco in February. But Nestlé is taking no equity or money from any of the emerging growth companies.”
Schinner says she grilled Nestlé extensively after being selected for the accelerator, describing herself as ‘extremely skeptical’ about why the conglomerate would be interested in engaging with her.
“I told them Miyoko’s is a mission-based company, and if they want to quash our mission, I have no interest in engaging with them.”
Changing the world
Schinner says she believes plant-based startups must grow as quickly as possible if they are to take over the market and offer a sustainable solution – a very difficult prospect given the many financial barriers in the way.
“We have an opportunity to get resources without receiving investment.
“So Nestlé isn’t investing in us, there’s no acquisition, they are simply going to help us gain consumer insights because we’re going into the conventional marketplace now.”
‘Future of food’
“These companies represent the future of food,” Ashlee Adams, Head of Open Innovation at Nestlé, said in a press release about the accelerator.
“Our open innovation efforts are focused on meeting companies where they are in their stage of growth and designing win-win partnerships that accelerate that growth.
“We look forward to working with these companies to share learnings, develop new capabilities and create something better together as we bring people more options in categories that are in high demand -healthy snacking and plant-based foods.”